Couldn’t I be more effective on the outside?

Unfortunately, the narrow answer to this is yes – if there’s one particular issue you care about, then as a campaigner you can pour all your efforts into persuading the States to take action on, say, climate change, or housing, or transport links, or poverty …

As a person campaigning (or coaching, or protesting, or lobbying) from the outside, you can use your skills and expertise to advise on the issues you know well. And you don’t have to burn up a lot of time and energy on issues that are of no interest to you at all – unlike States Members, who are always dealing with the whole of government.

But! – and it’s a big one – your efforts to persuade the States, and the actions that the States then takes, are only ever going to be as good as the people who are in it.

If the States is made up of people who are unsympathetic to your cause; unable or unwilling to accept the evidence that shows how important it is; or unconvinced that the action you want to see is needed – then no amount of campaigning is ever going to achieve what you want it to.

I completely understand why staying on the outside is the most appealing option. But if everyone does that, the States – the actual place where decisions are made, and resources are put to use – won’t have enough people in it who care about the same things you do, who are willing and able to make the changes you want to see.

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